Ladipo Soremekun: A Legend at 70
By Ayo Sogbuyi
As I woke up today Thursday 16th March 2023, I was looking forward to Nigeria media space if I’ll come across the name of Ladipo Aderenle Soremekun. Not that because he clocks seventy today, but because of his contributions to the sports industry in Nigeria. It may be pardonable that he left the stage at a time most of our sports commentators today were not born and in a way history and sports archive are not fanciful, most of our legends are forgotten so fast.
For those who still have memory of basketball and volleyball ball tournaments in Nigeria of 70s will agree that Lado was an asset.
A spectacular feat was in Algeria in 1978/79 all African games where he played basketball for the Nigerian national team. The team came back to the country with a silver laurel. Apart from basketball he also played for the National volleyball team at several international tournaments and sports festivals. He was one of the earliest players for Oguns state when it was created and later became professional in basketball game at Kwara and Plateau states.
A remarkable moment was at an international competition in Angola where famous Hakeem Olajuwon was still a rookie. It was at the competition that American talent scout spotted Hakeem and later became a superstar in NBA.
Uncle Ladi as I fondly call him was born in Jos and had his early years in Bauchi where he started his primary education at St Paul Anglican school. He is a native of Bakatari under Ilugun LCDA of Ogun state where the family tree is heavily rooted.
I’ll say life has been very good to you and you are blessed with a wonderful family. I also know my good aunty Mofoluke is keeping the family name flying as former chairman of Ilugun LCDA.
In Los Angeles that is now your home, you’ve made a name for yourself as a selfless person. Your kind disposition is second to none while your work ethics, even at 70 is still battling to the younger ones.
Uncle Ladi is into courier business in California and he’s a founding member of a thriving courier company based in Los Angeles
Happy birthday my great egbon and many happy returns in good health
-Sogbuyi writes from California